Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Got milk... ummm... Oil?


This one goes down in the "what were you thinking?" category.

I spotted the ad on the back of an oil truck. Luckily I was at a red light because I just kept staring at it. I was so entranced that I didn't even think to snap a picture.

...So naturally I went straight home and found the Mid States Oil web site.

Sorry it's so small... I couldn't find one that was bigger. Basically, it's a play on the "Got Milk" campaign with a lovely model drinking... umm... oil and giving herself an oil mustache in the process. The text underneath reads:

"We don't waste oil -- we recycle it!"

That's a lovely thought, but what the *bleep* are you recycling the oil as? A health drink?

There are several lovely young women who seem to be model-pouty pleased about partaking.

*shudder*

Maybe fembots are making a comeback and I just didn't hear about it.

I guess the poofy feather bras are just out of the camera frame.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Getting your Lulu.com book on iBookstore

I've always liked the Lulu.com model. I write a book and I post it to a web site. Lulu provides a marketplace for selling my book, handles the money, and prints individual copies of my book on demand as copies are ordered. For the author, there is no fuss, no muss, and no living with boxes and boxes of expensive vanity published books.

I was excited when Lulu announced that it would be supporting the ebook format to be used by the upcoming iPad. There were even going to give away an iPad to authors who converted their books before the iPad was released. Bonus. Lulu was pushing a paid conversion service (a minimum of $175 and 4-6 weeks). I Googled around a bit and decided that the .epub format conversion wasn't really that complicated, particularly if you have some technical background. I could do this myself.

By the way... if you ever want to run a contest and hope to sell some conversion services through the contest, you really need to make sure your conversion service can get the work done BEFORE the contest deadline. The blog was posted on March 12th and the deadline for posting a converted .epub version of a book was April 4th -- three weeks.

I'm just saying....

Anyway, back to the story: I knew that since this was all new (the iPad, anyway) that this was going to take a lot of work on my part to figure out. My expectations for specific direction were very low. I girded my digital loins and dug in. I read the sketchy details and started downloading software. I tried different software packages and different approaches to the conversion. I finally figured out what the key pieces to an .epub file were, tested the files, made my final conversions, and posted finished files on Lulu.

I even redesigned the covers so that they would be all pretty sitting on that virtual bookshelf.

I checked around my Projects page (basically, my workspace on Lulu). Nothing there about submitting my files. Odd. Well, this is all new, right? I went back to the home page. There's a gigantic ad that says iPad.

I clicked on that. I got a small, focused series of pages that looked rather useful.

I clicked on the Authors tab since *ahem* I am an author.

Good, good. Nice big button that says "Do it yourself". I clicked on that and...got shunted to the first page of the wizard that lets you upload your file. We'll, I've already done that. How do I get to the submitting part?

The blog was useful before. I headed back to that and find a great article that, once again, assures me that I can do this myself (though I really should pay for the conversion services). OK. Good. It told me that I need the following to get my book on the iBookstore:

  1. It has to be in ePub format (done).
  2. It needs to be validated with ePubCheck.
  3. It needs an ISBN.

I downloaded ePubCheck and after installing a lot of new software that wanted to be run by command line (a bad sign), I got back on the web and found someone who thoughtfully posted a web-based version. I ran my files through and found some problems. The problems were easily fixed and I revalidated. They passed with flying colors. Back to Lulu.

All I needed now was an ISBN. I started with the blog posts. Nope. Nothing there. I went back to my Projects page. Well, there were links to pages about ISBN, but the articles were only about ISBN on printed books. Hmmm. OK. Let's try the Support area.

Lots of useful-looking articles... absolutely none of them are of any use whatsoever. I was (and still am) amazed. Am I the only person who has run up against this?

I clicked on the support chat link on the page. I've had good luck with chats in the past. I'm connected with a lovely person (I assume he's a man) named Winson.

Winson: How may i help you today?
Me: I created and validated my epub files and want to submit them for the iBookstore. I can't figure out what my next step is.
Me: The only thing I'm missing (I think) is an ISBN number
Winson: May I place you on hold for few minutes so I can get back to you with the details?
Me: Of course.
Winson: Thank you for your patience.

This told me that, polite as he was, Winson had no earthly idea what I was talking about. He got back to me about two minutes later.

Winson: You need to purchase the "ePub iBookstore Distribution Submission Service" for your eBook to reach the apple iBookstore. This is a free service that Lulu offers. I request you to view the the link provided below for more information related to ISBN for iBookstore:
Winson: http://www.lulu.com/content/8590219
Me: Checking.. hang on
Winson: Sure, please go ahead.

Sure enough, the link took me to a page that allowed me to buy this free service. Then I started thinking....

Me: Awesome. I have two books. Do I need to "buy" this twice?
Winson: Yes, you will need to apply this service to your various book individually.
Me: OK. I'm struggling a bit with the Lulu web site... I just "bought" it, but I don't know how it applies to one or the other of my book.
Me: The direct link was great... but how would I find that page again if I started at the My Projects page?
Winson: Please note that you can search for the product on the "buy" tab by searching for "iBookstore Distribution Submission Service"
Winson: As you purchase our sales representative will get in touch with you too.

I tried the search -- mostly just to check Winson's facts.

The first search brought up 23 thousand -- yes, that's THOUSAND -- results. Rigghhhttt. Then I noticed the drop-down. Ah ha! A filter. I searched again.

This time, the search brought up 57 results... none of which led to the page I was that Winson had given me to link to. Just for kicks, I added in the quotations around the search term and searched again.

No results at all.

I decided to wait for the Sales Representative to get back to me. This was looking more and more like a rinky-dink operation. The good thing about rinky-dink operations is that once you get in touch with a person, that person can usually help... since he or she is usually sitting in a crappy little room with everyone else in the company.

A few minutes later, I got this email.

(click on the image to read it)

What set me off was this line: You are responsible for ensuring that your file will pass the ePub check 1.0.5 validation. You will not be notified if the validation failed. Lulu will not be able to submit your book.

Here's how I read this: Lulu will run my file through their own validation before it gets submitted to Apple, but never tell me whether or not it passed their validation. They'll take my nasty little DIY-converted book, but they feel no need to ever let me know whether or not it was submitted to the iBookstore. I just submit it, say a little prayer that the file didn't get corrupted or that they aren't using some slightly different version of the validation software than I am, and wait. In a minimum of four weeks, I should start hitting the iBookstore looking for it.

Really?

Really?

Is this Lulu.com's idea of good customer service?

I got on Twitter and started complaining to the poor soul at the other end of the @Luludotcom account. S/he assured me that I will be informed. I snottily suggested that s/he tell Alison.

We'll see. In the meantime, I'm checking into Smashwords.

UPDATE: I did actually get a notice that my file passed the validation and was sent to Apple.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thoughts on the iPad

As anyone who follows my or my husband's Twitter feed knows, we got an iPad this weekend. We hurried back from our long weekend to get to the Apple Store.

The child just didn't understand.

"Why do we have to leave?"

"We need to get back to buy a new gadget."

She looked around at the beautiful environment around us. "Why?"

"Why? Well.. because... well... it's important... I guess... it's an iPad. You know... an iPad..." I pulled out my iPhone. "It's like a big version of this."

"Oh. Can I have your phone?"

"No. I won't replace my phone... it's just sort of... umm... extra."

"Oh. Do we have to leave now?"

"Yes."

"But why?"

"Because I said so."

We got home, breezed in, paid our money, and breezed back out. Since it was a freelance gig of Mike's that paid for it, he got dibs for the first night.

I got my sticky, little, Easter-egg-colored fingers on it today. My thoughts:

  1. The shape is OK (there's a slight bow in the back that feels good against my fingers), but it's a bit heavier than I would have liked. I predict some sore wrists if I use this thing a lot.
  2. I didn't get enough time (I was getting up every few minutes to answer the bleating pleas of the child who thought she wasn't getting enough attention) to see if it gets hot. I had as much as 10 minutes with it and didn't notice the heat. That's long enough for my iPhone to get hot, particularly if I'm running wireless.
  3. The device doesn't charge up off of a PC's USB connection. That's really lame. Either the syncing has to happen faster or the iPad needs to charge up off of any USB connection I can find. That's been hugely valuable with my iPhone.
  4. It's cool. It's seriously cool. True to Apple's pattern of high quality devices, this acts as advertised. The screen is bright and rich in color. The touch screen reacts beautifully to my finger and the scrolling is smooth and lovely.
  5. The interface acts just like an iPhone. It is really nice to be doing iPhone apps on that big a screen. It feels luxurious.
  6. The screen, while beautiful, is shiny and reflective. It's practically a mirror for whatever is around me when I'm looking at it. It looks great in a darkened room but god help you if you open a curtain. I won't be taking this sucker out of the house for outdoor web surfing much.
  7. The apps that weren't built in by Apple are, predictably, inconsistent. Very few look or act different than the iPhone (ie., they don't take advantage of the extra screen size). Since no one could get a hold of these things before Saturday, I won't hold that against them... it's just fair warning to others who are tempted to be a "bleeding edge technology buyer". There's not much there just yet.
  8. The apps that are iPad specific are noticeably more expensive than your average iPhone app. I like to spend a dollar or two on iPhone apps and typically don't have any trouble with that. The iPad apps were clocking in at between five and ten dollars. That's a big red flag for me. Yeah, I bought a new device but don't let that imply that I'm now going to be willing to cough up that much extra money for apps. I'm still the cheapskate I was a week ago.
  9. The movie that Mike bought and downloaded from the iTunes store was GORGEOUS. The movie that I had ripped from one of my existing DVDs for my iPhone looked notably less so. It wasn't awful, but it was pixelated and "crunchy" on the edges. I'm going to have to re-rip all of my DVDs... and they'll be larger in size. That's annoying since the device has rather limited memory and zero options for expansion.
  10. The streaming movie from Netflix was surprisingly nice... even over our crappy wireless home network. That was a very pleasant surprise and helped to temper the annoyance generated by the previous observation.
  11. I haven't had a chance to really spend time with a book, but the ebook app is comfortable to look at. I had some trouble with third-party ebook apps that I'm kind of wondering about.
  12. Mike and I had this crazy idea that we could kind of share the thing. We can't. We have to choose an iTunes account which means one of us doesn't get the apps we want. The limited memory means I can't have my ridiculous amount of music and movies loaded, and he needs to lay off the high-rez photographs. It's not really a good device for sharing. I'm sure it was engineered that way.

I'm glad we got it. It isn't going to change my life the way my iPhone did... but I think I'll find a place -- a netbook-shaped place -- for it in my daily life.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ePub success

Well, I got the novel up, anyway:

http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/puritys-promise/8544610

I goofed around with Calibre's extensive settings for quite a whole day. I really feel like all of those lovely settings should be more... umm... useful.

...and they would absolutely be if I was doing this for all of the dozen or so different ebook readers that are available.

It's just that I'm sort of focused (for now) on the iPad.

I ended up using Sigil to make my final version and focused on Stanza as the reader to test in. The desktop version of Stanza is still in beta and was a little disappointing. Once I got the file on my iPhone, however, things started looking up.


I also tested the ePub file in the Sony reader (it looked great) and I tried to look at it in Kindle, but I couldn't figure out how to get the stinkin' file to show up. Jeeze. What a pain.

Sigil has a clean, simple interface, it allowed me to easily put page breaks where I wanted, I could add meta data with ease, and (as a bonus) I was able to successfully pop in an image.

The reason I kept going back to Calibre is because I was getting thrown by the table of contents (TOC) feature. I'd open the ePub doc in one of my reader software packages and I wouldn't see the TOC as I was expecting to. Once I rationalized to myself that a TOC really wasn't that critical to a novel and that they actually sort of get in the way of reading the real content of a book, everything sort of fell into place.

...Then, of course, I realized that the software readers I was using to test the file all had the TOC hidden under a button. I'd been making the TOC just fine all this time.

*bleh*

I think the time I spent on this was ultimately valuable, though. I wound up going with HTML as my source. HTML is really pretty easy to keep clean from a coding perspective. You don't have to worry about what kind of weird formatting is getting tossed in by our friends at Microsoft.

That said, I'm pretty sure that I could convert a Word document or Rich Text Format document pretty well at this point.

These are my bottom-line learnings:

  • Keep your source files simple and straightforward in terms of both format and coding. The software readers just don't support complex layouts right now.
  • If you use images, use non-interlaced PNG files rather than JPGs (since the JPG format is, actually, copyrighted and some of the readers don't support it).
  • Put in good metadata. Spend some time thinking about the metadata before you are sitting there staring at the dialog and wondering what to type.
  • Don't try to convert from PDF. As I searched for hints, the one recurring theme was that PDFs convert really poorly to the ePub format.

Now it's on to converting the illustrated children's book... and after that I should probably (*ahem*) start writing again.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

The ePub saga continues

I spent some time cleaning up the HTML and bring it back into Calibre. I started going through the settings and realized that I really should actually read the instructions.


OK. The instructions are reasonably complete and they even have color and pretty pictures. I can do that. What's this? An ePub editor named Sigil? It lets me see the code and control the output? Hallelujah! Let's download that puppy.

It downloaded and installed fine. My kvetchy computer is still stable. Will it open and append multiple HTML files like eCub does? Ah: It does not. No biggie... 10 minutes in Dreamweaver and I'm ready again.

The new HTML file opens just fine. There's a tool for adding chapter breaks. I'm so excited I danced a little happy dance of joy right there in my chair. An automated and editable Table of Contents tool? I'm in heaven.

Except... wait. I can't make the TOC show up.

*grumble*

I take a look at the code.

There are some codes that ID where there chapters break... but there is also a comment that says not to touch them and that they get deleted when you convert to ePub anyway.

Well, phththttp.

The rest of the code looks like straightforward HTML.... which means my "hallelujah ePub app" isn't adding much to what I already had.

OK... the instruction manual helped before, let's try this again. Well, I'm getting deeper into open source stuff, so that means less and less actual documentation. There is a nice set of instructions on doing an initial conversion. I follow them to the letter.

Repeatedly.

No table of contents.

*grumble*

Frustrated, I walked outside into the beautiful 70+ spring day that I'm totally missing because I'm working on this. Think, Amy, think. Well, the best documentation is on Calibre. Let's to back to that.

I started reading those instructions more carefully. More links to more software. Hmmmm.... here's something that is supposed to convert directly from Word by integrating with Calibre. I know how to format in Word... maybe that will work better. I downloaded BookCreator Tool. That one says if you really want this to work (*grumble*), you need eBookPublisher from yet another place.

I know this dance. It's called the "Open Source Web App Hustle" and it almost always ends up with me laying on the ground with a headache because I've been banging my head on my desk in frustration.

It also almost always winds up with a crashed computer.

*sigh* Well, maybe just two more before I dive back into Calibre.

Hmmm. That's not bad. It was a direct conversion to ePub... it doesn't look too bad. Pity that I've spent the past two days editing the HTML text so that now my original Word doc is significantly out of date.

*GRUMBLE*

I'm going back outside.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

ePub-ing for an iPad

Lulu.com (where I self-publish my books) said they might give me an iPad if I convert my book to the mobile ePub format. OK. I can do that. I got to thinking... that might mean that Lulu doesn't have a lot of content for the iPad ebook reader when it comes out in a couple of weeks (hence the prize). Being on the "bleeding edge" has its advantages. If my books are some of the few that are available, perhaps they will be read by more people.

That's worth messing around with some new software.

The Lulu blog made several suggestions for converting to ePub format... the first of which was to let them do it for between $175 and $495 (depending on word count of my book). Ahhh... no. I started with eCub and Calibre software. Google has a toolkit as well, but it relies on Java and my XP computer is currently on a Java-free diet after having a Java-induced stroke recently. No Google toolkit. The other tool recommended is Adobe InDesign but I don't have an extra $600 sitting around so here we go.

There was also a link to someone who had posted instructions for just doing it by hand. The instructions looked.... complicated. After living for years in an intimate relationship with computer programs, web browsers, and gadget software, I've learned that there is usually no margin for error and no hint about what you did wrong when you try to DIY some complex coding.

I'll start with the apps.

Both software packages were easy downloads and installs. Calibre has nice videos about how to navigate it's interface. While that's usually a good sign that you are dealing with a bad interface, watching the video helped in other ways. It helped me figure out sort of what the software is doing behind its GUI. That lets me make educated guesses about what goes wrong.

It also helped me figure out eCub.

I started with the Word doc that I used to create the PDFs on Lulu. I have two books I'm working with: a straightforward novel and children's book with some little illustrations. I got spoiled by PDFs. I can include graphical drop caps and pretty little pictures here and there. I can make a page break where I want it to. It prints out all pretty. It's predictable.

Not so much with the ePub format.

The Word docs were of no use to me at all. You need either plain text or HTML. The graphic designer in me screamed and had a small cow on her chair when she read the words "plain text". I got a hold on myself and thought about it. I do actually read ebooks. Most have formatting. Not a lot of them have pictures, but there is definitely typography.

Hmm. It must be the HTML.

So I pop open Dreamweaver, copy and paste a clean version of the children's book into a new page, remake all of my graphics and start linking it together. It took about two hours and I learned an important lesson: Never spend two hours on something that is just going to be a test. *banging head on desk* Seriously... one story or two would have been more than sufficient.

...Particularly because it didn't work anyway.

I put the HTML through eCub. I got a book... sort of. Actually, I got a cover, a first page with a single hyperlink and about 60 blank pages. The hyperlink took me nowhere.

Alrighty then... Moving on.

Calibre did a little better. I got the text of my book and it even gave me the images I had linked in. The formatting was a bit weird, though.

That was Calibre's built-in ebook reader. I tested it on the Sony reader I also have on my system.

Oh, goody. It's inconsistent.

I poked through the Calibre preferences a bit. It gives you output customized to specific ebook readers -- a bunch of them including the Sony series, the Nook, Kindle, and Microsoft. Hmmm. Apple isn't here yet. Well, let's stick to broadest format.

Maybe I can edit the code.

I opened it in Notepad (still my most trusted web coding tool) got gobblygook.

Neither eCub or Calibre give me a way to edit the code. They are designed much more as simple conversion tools and less as authoring tools. I do wonder if InDesign is allows more tweaking of the appearance but I have a sneaking suspicion that it doesn't. The idea, after all, is to lock up the content in this digital format. It's supposed to be hard to hack.

Well, maybe the illustrated children's book can wait. Let's convert the novel.

Again, the Word doc did me no good. *grumble* I don't want to convert this whole thing to HTML... wait... hold the phone.... I already converted this to a blog. BWAHAHAHA! I just export the content out of Blogger, convert that bad boy, upload it to Lulu, and pat myself on the back for a job well done.

Blogger exports XML. The conversion programs don't take XML. I open the XML file in Notepad. Screens and screens of unorganized lines of code gets vomited out on to my screen.

*sigh* I don't think so.

I'm not done yet. I pulled out my trusty Backstreet Browser (an application that copies a web site to my hard drive for later off-line browsing). That gave me what I needed. The eCub interface is a bit simpler and more straightforward so I started with that.

I get another book with a cover, a table of contents, and 80 blank pages.

I'm starting to hate eCub.

Calibre comes through for me again, but there is a catch... it looks like my blog.

There's the background image, there's the archive links, there's the widgets... yeah. That won't work. I'm going to have to get back into Dreamweaver and clean those HTML files up. I did learn that the automated table of contents works like a champ. The fact that the background image worked is interesting, but not good for ebook usability. You need all of the black-on-white contrast that you can get.

It looks like Calibre will be my tool of choice... at least for the novel.

Stay tuned for more adventures in ePub conversions coming soon!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reviewing Rework

I have a love-hate relationship with business "how to" books. I find most of them have the informational satisfaction of a microwaved tofu burger: They look promising on the outside, but are boring, tasteless, and a bit cold and gooey on the inside. Each one promises a silver bullet solution to one or more of business life's little problems, but they never do.

Wait... is that too strong... "never"? *thinking* *thinking* Hmmm... nope. That's right. NEVER!

That said, I can rarely pass by one of these books without picking it up and scanning through it.

Hope springs eternal.

The most recent one of these books was Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the founders of 37signals (software). The basic idea behind the book is to debunk what the authors consider myths about starting and running a small business. Some of the common business practices they consider wrong are:

  • Learning from mistakes
  • Strategic planning
  • Growing a business
  • Working long hours
  • Getting outside financing
  • Finishing a product before releasing it
  • Sweating the details
  • Having meetings
  • Watching your competition

There are more... 88 in all -- statements about what to do and what not to do. Each statement is followed up by a page or two of cheerful text supporting the statement. No... "cheerful" is an understatement. I'd say the tone was a bit more like a team of junior high school cheerleaders on espresso (ohmygodohmygodohmygod we could start a business ohmygoooddddd).

It was a quick read, anyway.

I looked at their suggestions as someone who started two businesses and who, due to the current job market, might be staring down the barrel of a third. Some of the assertions rang true. I've always thought long-term strategic planning was a stupid waste of time and resources. Forcing an team to stick to an 11-month-old plan when the business environment has significantly changed in that time is heartbreaking. Like the authors, I think that giving away your product (to some level) is always a good idea. It not only builds an audience, but the feedback of that early audience will always make your product better. I also agree that a certain amount of transparency between you and your audience builds credibility and trust.

Some of their assertions sounded a little off, though.

In my experience, working long hours is just part of what you have to do. If you are in a small business or if you are the small business you are, by necessity, doing all or most of the work all of the time. If you are essentially holding down eight jobs (business development, scheduling, product development, fulfillment, marketing, finance, billing, janitor), you are going to have trouble fitting all of those tasks into a 40-hour week.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that's life. It doesn't mean that you are working inefficiently, it means that you have eight jobs. Starting a business with any expectation that you will be working 40-hour weeks is setting yourself up for a major disappointment.

The "Learning from mistakes is overrated" chapter is an example of the microwaved tofu hamburger thing.

"Another common misconception: You need to learn from your mistakes. What do you really learn from mistakes? You might learn what not to do again, but how valuable is that? You still don't know what you should do next.

Contrast that with learning from your successes. Success gives you real ammunition. When something succeeds, you know what worked -- and you can do it again."


OK. I get that... but this isn't a terribly tactical advice for starting or running a business. That's feel-good advice. It's when-life-gives-you-lemons-make-lemonade advice. Yeah. OK. Whatever. Now tell me how to get my billing up so I can buy groceries next month.

It's not a bad book. There are some good reality checks and it is, like I said, cheerful. Don't expect any "silver bullet" solutions, though, or thoughtful insights into business practices. It is an entertaining business book for a public transportation commute, but don't expect it to change your world.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

This needs to be one of those empowerment posters


I really did get this out of a fortune cookie at a normal Chinese restaurant near my house. Every blogger should have one.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

They went to college for this

I woke up and flipped on the TV hoping to get some news.

It's snowing.


Yup... definitely snowing.

I watched the updated forecast with some interest (the snowstorm warning turned into a full-fledged blizzard warning as I was watching). Then the news started with the man-on-the-street interviews.

Well, since we've been told for days to stay inside (the entire city is shut down, including bus services and subway), there aren't a lot of men-on-the-street to interview.

I watched with mild fascination as this poor reporter (she went to college for this, folks) got interviewed by the other college-educated reporters back at the station about her latte.


... her latte in the snow.

As you can see by the time, it was almost 9am when I took that picture. They pre-empted the Today Show for this: Two hours of talking about...

...snow.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A bit of grammatical geekiness

I couldn't resist....

Feel the love, Grandpa.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Telling the Internet

"Mom? What does the Tooth Fairy do with all of those teeth?"

"I honestly don't know."

She stops and thinks again. "Mom? Where does the tooth fairy get all of her money?"

Hmmm. "That's a good question. Let's ask the Internet." I pulled out my iPhone and loaded up the Google app with the voice input. I cleared my throat. "Where does the tooth fairy get her money?"

I figured someone must of blogged or put some kind of answer up on some wiki somewhere. Right?

I get a list of promising results. The first one I click -- that is, tap -- on is from the Tooth Fairy's own blog. There's the question as I posed it... but no answer. I go back to try another site.

"Do you have an answer yet, Mom?"

"No. Hang on. I'm working on it."

The next site is WikiAnswers. Supposedly she saves it so that she can give it out. I report this to the child. "That doesn't really answer the question, does it?"

*giggling* "No, Mommy."

"Let's try another one."

"I have an idea...."

"Wait, wait. There must be an answer somewhere here."

I try a site called Answerology. Humph. A very long post at the end of which is my question... posed... not answered.

"What's taking so long, Mom?"

"Well, it takes a minute to find things and I have to read through everything...."

"I have an idea."

"OK, babe. What's your idea?"

"I think that the Tooth Fairy finds the all the money that people have lost and that's where she gets it."

"That's not a bad idea. She's magical and invisible... it would be easy enough for her to find all of the loose change we don't even notice.... After all, it has to go somewhere."

She gestured at the iPhone. "I think you should tell the Internet."

Done.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Oh, please



The more I read, the worse it got. Honestly.